The University of Sussex has an active and at times violent far-Left presence; in 2012, for instance, Conservative MP Mike Weatherley was attacked by as many as 50 students when he arrived on campus to address the university’s Conservative Association. This far-Left activism often takes the form of anti-Zionism, which occasionally spills over into the promotion of anti-Semites, or apologism for anti-Semitic language.
In 2009, Hamas spokesman Azzam Tamimi was invited to speak by the Palestine Society, causing some controversy in the student media. Worryingly, despite Tamimi’s membership of a genocidal terrorist group, the University of Sussex Student Union (USSU) ruled that he was “not a fascist”, and therefore entitled to speak at the university. The USSU would later go on to sponsor a motion – described as “divisive”, “undemocratic” and “extreme” by the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) – which urged the National Union of Students (NUS) to build links with the Hamas-controlled Islamic University of Gaza.
Extreme anti-Zionism is not merely the preserve of students at Sussex. Professor Martin Shaw, for example, has defended those who draw anti-Semitic comparisons between the Holocaust and Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, saying that he does not “find the comparison objectionable in principle”. Although he says that the comparison of the Gaza Strip to the Warsaw Ghetto “is not one I would have made”, he then goes on to do exactly that, writing that “Gazan Palestinians in 2008, like Polish Jews in 1939-40, are confined in a small territory and subjected to systematic depredations”. The university’s Palestine Society dabbles in similar anti-Semitic language.
Although the student Islamic Society appears to be less active, its Facebook page nonetheless promotes such persons as Mohammad Akram Nadwi, who is endorsed by anti-Semitic suicide-bombing enthusiast Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, and Hamas-supporter Zahir Mahmood, as well as such organisations as the Saudi-funded, pro-terror and anti-Semitic World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY).